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U.S. stocks dropped at the open on Wednesday, extending a three-day slide, as worries over weak economies globally continued to pressure commodities and as U.S. retail sales for December fell short of expectations. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.28 percent at 17,388.27, the S&P 500 was down 0.94 percent at 2,003.94 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.76 pct at 4,626.1.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, $56.68, -3.67 pct
** WELLS FARGO & CO, $51.59, -0.50 pct
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, $16.09, -2.19 pct
U.S. large cap banks backpedal after JPMorgan and Wells Fargo report fourth-quarter results.
JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, reported a 6.6 percent drop in quarterly profit as legal costs exceeded $1 billion in the wake of government probes into alleged wrongdoing and it set aside more to cover bad loans.
Wells Fargo, the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, reported a slight increase in quarterly profit as it lent more to commercial and industrial customers, but mortgage lending fell to $44 billion from $50 billion a year earlier and $48 billion in the third quarter.
Graphic on bank earnings - here
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, $34.3, -2.70 pct
The car maker’s chief financial officer, Chuck Stevens, said the number of car recalls would rise in 2015. The company, at the Global Auto Industry Conference, also said it did not expect to be profitable in Europe in 2015. It added that pricing in international markets was likely to be flat to slightly up and market share in North America would likely remain flat.
** ZIOPHARM ONCOLOGY INC, $9.32, +62.37 pct
** INTREXON CORP, $30.93, +9.02 pct
Drug developers buy license to make cancer drugs using what is touted as the next big technology. Ziopharm and Intrexon bought license from University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop a new CAR-T cell therapy, which modifies the body’s own defenses to kill cancer cells.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, $188.2201, -7.85 pct
Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Tuesday that the electric luxury car maker’s sales in China were “unexpectedly weak” during the fourth quarter.
The company plans to boost production of electric cars to “at least a few million a year” by 2025 from fewer than 40,000 last year, Musk said.
** CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC, $701.85, -1.71 pct
The restaurant operator said on Tuesday that it would suspend pork sales at about a third of its U.S. restaurants after a routine audit revealed one supplier did not comply with animal-welfare standards.
** FREEPORT-MCMORAN INC, $19.01, -9.65 pct
Copper prices slid to their lowest in 5-1/2 years following cuts in global economic growth forecast by the World Bank and big falls oil prices. Three month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 4.7 percent at $5,584.50 at 08:18 ET.
Oil prices have fallen more than 13 percent so far in January.
** DATAWATCH CORP, $5.67, -25.59 pct
Canaccord Genuity downgraded the data analytics software maker’s stock to “hold” from “buy” after the company’s first-quarter revenue estimate fell below the average analyst expectation.
The brokerage also cut its price target to $6.50 from $12.
** GAMESTOP CORP, $36.84, +12.42 pct
The world’s largest retailer of video game products said December same-store store sales rose 4.4 percent, driven by higher demand for games such as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Grand Theft Auto V and Far Cry 4.
** SIBANYE GOLD LTD, $9.6, -0.83 pct
** DRDGOLD LTD, $1.93, -1.53 pct
U.S.-listed shares of gold and silver miners fell as the World Bank cut global economic growth forecast for 2015 and 2016.
Gold falls below Tuesday’s 12-week high, pressured by rout in other commodities and as Asian buying slackened.
Spot gold down 0.3 percent at $1,227.13 an ounce at 7.10 a.m. ET; silver down 2.1 percent at $16.65 an ounce
** HIMAX TECHNOLOGIES INC, $7.79, +5.70 pct
The Taiwanese chipmaker estimated fourth-quarter revenue of $227.2 million, above analysts’ average estimate of $225.4 million.
** ZELTIQ AESTHETICS INC, $28.85, +3.41 pct
The medical device maker estimated fourth-quarter revenue of $51 million-$52 million, compared with analysts’ estimate of $49.6 million.
Zeltiq said it expects 2015 revenue of about $230 million, above the $215.7 million estimated by analysts.
** OCWEN FINANCIAL CORP, $7.27, -6.56 pct
The mortgage collection company’s shares rose after closing down 36 percent on Tuesday. Ocwen-serviced bonds were unchanged despite California regulators saying they would seek to suspend the company’s state operating license.
** BEBE STORES INC, $3.17, +6.38 pct
Analysts at Janney Capital Markets upgraded the women’s fashion retailer’s stock to “buy” from “hold”, citing the company’s return to positive comparable sales. The brokerage also raised fair value to $5 from $3.
** BOEING CO, $129.32, -1.41 pct
The aircraft maker said on Tuesday that it sees no business case for offering an extended-range version of its largest 737 jet, the forthcoming 737 MAX 9, to compete with a long-range plane that rival Airbus launched on Tuesday.
** MCDONALDS’S CORP, $91.28, -1.67 pct
The operator of McDonald’s in Japan and Cargill Inc have not discovered any link between a Cargill-owned plant in Thailand and a strip of plastic found in a chicken nugget this month that sparked uproar over product safety at the fast-food chain.
** ARIAD PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.2486, -1.91 pct
The drugmaker said it expects to rake in about $55 million in net sales for its cancer drug Iclusig.
** PROGRESS SOFTWARE CORP, $24.29, -7.99 pct
The enterprise software maker forecast FY 2015 profit well below estimates, citing acquisition-related financing and a stronger dollar.
Progress Software also reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, $181.32, -1.95 pct
The banker had to write down its loan to the troubled Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo SA BES.LS in the fourth quarter, cutting the bank’s profit and some employees’ bonuses, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, $99.38, -1.38 pct
The Chinese e-commerce giant said it had bought a controlling stake in online marketing company AdChina, an investment aimed at bolstering its advertising business.
** NOKIA OYJ, $7.65, +2.55 pct
JPMorgan hiked its price target on the Finnish company’s shares to 9 euros from 8 euros. The brokerage also named the stock a top pick in its sector for 2015.
JPMorgan said weakness in the euro may benefit Nokia. The brokerage also said low exposure in the U.S. would help the company as it expects overall telecom capex to be down marginally in 2015 due to a decline in U.S. capex.
** MAGNA INTERNATIONAL INC, $97.02, -5.80 pct
The Canadian auto-parts maker and contract vehicle manufacturer forecast lower-than-estimated revenue for fiscal 2015.
Magna forecast total revenue of $34.4 billion to $36.1 billion for the year, short of analysts’ average estimate of $37.65 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Compiled by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)